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Report of the Secretary-General
Of the total budget, some 51.3 per cent of resources relate to military personnel costs. Operational requirements account for 31 per cent of the budget, civilian personnel costs reflect 15 per cent, and staff assessment comprises 2.4 per cent of the total. Less than 0.4 per cent of the total resources are related to other programmes.
The action to be taken by the General Assembly is set out in paragraph 3 of the report.
1. The present report contains the proposed budget for the 12-month period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 for the maintenance of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which amounts to $38,991,800 gross ($38,072,000 net).
2. Estimated requirements for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 represent a 12.9 per cent increase ($4,455,500) in total resources (gross) in relation to the apportionment for the current period, from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002. The proposed increase reflects a 2.3 per cent increase in military personnel costs, a 12.2 per cent increase in civilian personnel costs, a 36 per cent increase in operational requirements, a 21.4 per cent increase in staff assessment cost, and a 2.5 per cent increase in costs related to training programmes.
(Thousands of United States dollars)
a The distribution of resources by standard and mission-specific costs is contained in annex II, section B.
b Exclusive of provision for the support account for peacekeeping operations and the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi.
a Represents the highest level of authorized strength.
3. The action to be taken by the General Assembly is as follows:
(a) To appropriate the amount of $38,991,800 gross ($38,072,000 net), for the maintenance of the Force for the 12-month period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003;
(b) To assess the amount in paragraph 3 (a) above at a monthly rate of $3,249,316 gross ($3,172,666 net), should the Security Council decide to continue the mandate of the Force.
II. Political mandate of the mission
(Security Council resolution 350 (1974) of 31 May 1974)
4. The Protocol to the Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian Forces (S/11302/Add.1, annexes I and II) requires UNDOF to use its best efforts to maintain the ceasefire, to see that it is scrupulously observed and to supervise the Agreement and Protocol with regard to the areas of separation and limitation.
5. The current mandate expires on 31 May 2002 (Security Council resolution 1381 (2001) of 27 November 2001).
III. Operational plan and requirements
6. In order to carry out its mandate, UNDOF maintains an area of separation some 80 kilometres long that varies in width from approximately 10 kilometres in the centre to less than 1 kilometre in the extreme south. The terrain is hilly and is dominated in the north by Mount Hermon, which necessitates the use of special vehicles designed for those types of road and terrain. The highest United Nations position is at an altitude of 2,800 metres. The area of separation is inhabited and is policed by the Syrian authorities. No military forces other than UNDOF are permitted within it.
7. UNDOF is deployed within and close to the area of separation, with 2 base camps, 44 permanently staffed positions and 11 observation posts. UNDOF headquarters is located at Camp Faouar, and an office is maintained in Damascus. In addition, the Force operates patrols day and night. The Austrian battalion, which includes a Slovak company, is deployed in the northern part of the area of separation, while the Polish battalion is deployed in the southern part. The Polish battalion’s base camp is Camp Ziouani. Mine-clearing activities are conducted by both battalions under the operational control of UNDOF headquarters.
8. The Canadian and Japanese logistics units, which are based in Camp Ziouani with a detachment in Camp Faouar, perform the second-line general transport tasks, rotation transport, control and management of goods received by the Force and maintenance of heavy equipment.
9. First-line logistical support is internal to the contingents and includes transport of supplies to the positions. Second-line logistical support is provided by the Canadians, and third-line support is provided through normal supply channels used by the United Nations in the area. Damascus International Airport serves as the Force’s main airbase, along with Tel Aviv International Airport. The seaports of Latakia and Haifa are used for sea shipments. Most requirements of the Force are procured locally in the mission area.
10. From its various positions and through its patrols, the Force supervises the area of separation and intervenes whenever any military personnel enter or try to operate therein. This is effected by means of permanently staffed positions and observation posts and by foot and mobile patrols operating at irregular intervals, day and night, on predetermined routes.
11. On each side of the area of separation there is an area of limitation with three zones, one up to 10 kilometres, one from 10 to 20 kilometres and one from 20 to 25 kilometres wide. UNDOF inspects these areas every two weeks in order to ascertain that the agreed limitations in armaments and forces are being observed.
12. With an authorized military strength of some 1,037, all ranks, and a civilian component of 127 staff, UNDOF is spread over the length and breadth of its area of operations. As both parties cooperate fully with the Force and have done so for a number of years, there have been no serious incidents.
13. As indicated in the report of the Secretary General to the Security Council dated 15 November 2001 (S/2001/1079), UNDOF undertook a comprehensive review, with the assistance of engineers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), of its facilities, support structure and deployment in the spring of 2001. The rapid development of the civilian infrastructure in the area of separation over the past three years has had an impact on the effectiveness of existing UNDOF checkpoints and observation posts for monitoring access and movement. In addition, a substantial number of UNDOF support structures and facilities, many over 20 years old, are obsolete and in acute need of upgrading. To improve its ability to carry out its mandate effectively, UNDOF has initiated a modernization programme. Key components of this programme are the full integration of the military and civilian administration and the logistics components of the Force, the replacement of outdated facilities, the consolidation of some positions in the area of separation and enhancement of the mobility of the Force.
14. As part of the modernization programme, UNDOF has developed a master plan to replace the old and defunct infrastructure for the entire mission in a phased manner over three years, starting from 2001.
15. UNDOF took advantage of savings identified during the financial period ending 30 June 2001 and purchased, through the use of systems contracts, some prefabricated structures and ablution units as part of the replacement programme. Some prefabricated buildings are being transferred from UNIFIL, which is in the process of downsizing its force, and more accommodation units were purchased from a former UNIFIL troop-contributing Government. For the 2002/03 budget period, however, additional funding for construction and prefabricated buildings for upgrading accommodations is required in line with the three-year master plan.
16. In addition, as an observer force, UNDOF requires effective communication between the camps and positions. Therefore, the continued acquisition and replacement of communication equipment, also an integral part of the UNDOF modernization programme, is essential. The continued acquisition of updated observation equipment is also required.
IV. Contributions made under the status-of-forces agreement
17. No status-of-forces agreement is in force. However, by a note verbale dated 22 February 1976, the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic informed the United Nations that UNDOF would be treated in accordance with the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
V. Voluntary contributions and trust funds
(United States dollars)
a This service was not utilized during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2001.
VI. Status of reimbursement of troop-contributing Governments
A. Current troop contributors
18. The current troop contributors are the Governments of Austria, Canada, Japan, Poland and Slovakia. In the past, troops were also provided to the Force by Finland, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Peru.
B. Status of reimbursement
19. Full reimbursement in accordance with the standard rates established by the General Assembly for troop costs has been made to contributing States through 31 October 2001. An amount of $3,504,029 is due for troop costs for the period ending 31 January 2002.
VII. Contingent-owned equipment and self-sustainment
A. Method of reimbursement
20. Memorandums of understanding have been signed with two troop-contributing Governments. Negotiations with other countries that are providing or will provide troops and equipment to UNDOF are continuing. At this stage it is expected that three troop-contributing Governments will opt for wet-lease arrangements for the reimbursement of contingent-owned equipment.
21. The requirement for reimbursement of major and special equipment to three contingents amounts to $306,800.
22. The estimated requirements of $452,893 for self-sustainment are broken down below:
23. No mission factors have been applied to UNDOF.
VIII. Staffing requirements
A. Changes in staffing requirements
(a) Office of Force Construction Engineering. The establishment of one new Professional post at the P-4 level is proposed for a Chief Civilian Engineer. During its visit to the Force at the end of October 2001, a team from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at United Nations Headquarters recommended the immediate recruitment of a Chief Civilian Engineer, since the Force was undertaking a major infrastructure replacement project in accordance with the three-year master plan;
(b) Office of the Force Commander. The establishment of one Field Service post at the FS-2 level is proposed for a driver for the Force Commander. Under the current 2001/02 budget, a military contingent member is being paid mission subsistence allowance to serve as a driver for the Force Commander. However, in line with United Nations personnel policies, UNDOF has been asked to explore alternatives to that arrangement. The 2002/03 budget proposal therefore includes a Field Service post to perform the function, in addition to providing security services to the Force Commander;
(c) General Services Section. The establishment of one new Field Service post at the FS-4 level is proposed for a general services assistant. In the context of restructuring the logistics battalion supply platoon organization in Camp Ziouani in accordance with the recommendation of auditors, this post will help to ensure accountability of the second-line supply unit stocks and stricter control over the movement of United Nations property. The establishment of this post is also a part of the process of integration to enhance coordination between military and civilian staff in line with the UNDOF modernization plan.
25. Following a recent review by UNDOF management of the situation of posts and for operational reasons, it has been concluded that no conversion of General Service staff posts into local staff posts is possible at this time.
B. Current and proposed staffing
IX. Other issues
26. It is recalled that the General Assembly, in paragraph 7 of its resolution 53/226 of 8 June 1999, requested the Secretary-General to expedite the process of improving the working conditions of the Force, taking into account the difficulties arising from the relocation of Force headquarters from Damascus to Camp Faouar, and to report thereon to the Assembly at its fifty-fourth session.
27. In his report on the financing of UNDOF for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 (A/54/732, paras. 33-34), the Secretary-General provided information on measures that had been taken by the UNDOF administration in response to that request of the General Assembly.
28. Subsequently, in paragraph 2 of its resolution 54/266 of 15 June 2000, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue the process of improving the working conditions of the local staff, including by making allowance for difficulties resulting from the relocation of the headquarters of the Force from Damascus to Camp Faouar, through mutual and fruitful dialogue.
29. In his report on the financing of UNDOF for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 (A/55/778, paras. 30-34), the Secretary-General provided information on measures that had been taken by the UNDOF administration in response to that request of the General Assembly.
30. The General Assembly, in paragraph 1 of its resolution 55/264 of 14 June 2001, noted that some of the concerns regarding the improvement of the working conditions of the local staff at UNDOF had been addressed. However, in the same resolution, the Assembly reaffirmed its request to the Secretary-General to continue the process of improving the working conditions of the local staff; and noted that paragraph 2 of its resolution 54/266 had not been fully implemented, in particular with regard to making allowance for the difficulties mentioned in that paragraph, and in that regard requested the Secretary-General to take concrete measures to ensure the full implementation of the matter and to report thereon to the Assembly during the first part of its resumed fifty-sixth session.
31. In response to the requests of the General Assembly, the Secretariat is further reviewing the matter to determine whether additional measures can be taken and implemented in future. The outcome of the review will be reported to the Assembly once it has been completed.
32. In its resolution 55/220 C of 14 June 2001, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to ensure the use of objective-setting by the administrations of peacekeeping missions and to ensure that the development and attainment of those objectives were reported on to the Assembly through the financial performance reports of the missions. In this connection, the objectives set by UNDOF for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 are as follows:
Objective 1 : To proceed with the first tier of the modernization programme, which relates to improved operational capacity.
External factors: Availability and quality of equipment provided by suppliers.
Objective 2 : To proceed with the second tier of the modernization programme, which is the infrastructure replacement programme for the 2002/03 budget year of the master plan.
External factors: The objectives and expected accomplishments are expected to be achieved assuming that vendors and contractors are able to meet deadlines set by the mission in accordance with the engineering programme.
Objective 3 : To proceed with the third tier of the modernization programme, which is the continuation of integration between military and civilian personnel as well as between UNDOF operations and the operations of the Observer Group Golan of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.
External factors: None.
C. Supplementary information
1. The proposed budget for the 2002/03 financial period is based on the strength of 1,037 military contingent personnel, supported by 41 international and 89 local-level staff.
Apportionment: $19,536,000; estimate: $19,987,600; variance: $451,600
2. The increase under this heading is attributable to an increase of $619,700 in the cost estimate under military contingents, offset by a decrease of $168,100 in the cost estimate under other requirements pertaining to military personnel.
Apportionment: $18,308,200; estimate: $18,927,900; variance: $619,700
3. The increased cost estimates for standard troop cost reimbursement and clothing and equipment allowance take into account the provision of General Assembly resolution 55/274 of 14 June 2001. Additional provision is made to cover increased requirements under rations due to an expected 10 per cent increase in the rations contract price for the option to renew the current contract. Detailed information on provisions for military contingents is provided in annex II, section A.
Other requirements pertaining to military personnel
Apportionment: $1,227,800; estimate: $1,059,700; variance: ($168,100)
(a) Contingent-owned equipment
4. Provision of $306,800 is made to cover the reimbursement of three troop-contributing Governments for trucks, ambulances, an excavator, a bulldozer, an x-ray unit, containers, a forklift, heavy cargo trailers and crew-served machine guns to be brought into the mission area, based on wet-lease arrangements.
5. The provision of $452,900 is made for the first-time inclusion of reimbursement to one self-sustained battalion, as detailed in annex II, section A.
(c) Death and disability compensation
6. Provision of $300,000 has been made, $767,300 less than that for the 2001/02 financial period, based on past expenditure experience, to cover potential claims for the death, disability or injury of military personnel (compared with $414,800 if the standard provision of 1 per cent of all contingent personnel, based on an annual maximum cost of $40,000 per claim, had been applied).
Apportionment: $5,210,400; estimate: $5,846,500; variance: $636,100
7. The increase of $636,100 under this heading relates to international and local staff costs.
8. Increased salary and common staff cost requirements for international and local staff are attributable mainly to the request for three additional international staff posts (Chief Civilian Engineer, Force Commander’s driver and general services assistant) (see para. 24 of the main report).
9. International staff salaries have been calculated on the basis of the 2002/03 standard cost rates for New York, while local staff salaries reflect the scale currently applicable in the mission area. Based on post incumbency experience, a 5 per cent vacancy rate has been applied to the Force’s proposed international staffing establishment of 41 total posts, including the 3 new posts requested. The estimate for the 89 local staff takes into account an increase in local staff salaries, effective 1 July 2001, and is based on level 4, step 6, which is the midpoint of the local salary scales. No vacancy factor has been applied to the local staffing establishment based on past incumbency experience.
10. The estimate of $97,000 under other travel costs is higher than the provision of $67,000 for the current period, 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, and will finance the travel of Headquarters and UNDOF personnel during the next period, as detailed in annex II, section A.
Apportionment: $8,887,100; estimate: $12,088,900; variance: $3,201,800
11. The estimate of $12,088,900 includes non-recurrent cost requirements amounting to $7,660,900.
12. The net increase of $3,201,800 under this heading is attributable to a total increase of $4,117,100 under premises/accommodation ($2,426,600), communications ($1,054,300), other equipment ($599,600) and supplies and services ($36,600), offset by a decrease in requirements of $915,300 for transport operations.
13. The increased requirement under this heading is due mainly to the funding requirement for infrastructure improvement in accordance with the three-year master plan, as stated previously.
14. Of the more than 100 prefabricated buildings at UNDOF, half are over 20 years old, 30 per cent are over 15 years old and the rest are over 10 years old. Similarly, the utilities (water supply, sewage and electricity) and other infrastructure, such as roads, pathways and communication facilities, have never been updated since the start of the operation more than 20 years ago. As only minimum maintenance has been performed on UNDOF infrastructure in the past years, it has outlived its useful life and cannot be maintained any further, according to expert opinion and advice of the Chief Engineer of UNIFIL.
15. Requirements for the replacement and acquisition of vehicles, as detailed in annex II, section C ($1,368,700), are lower than those requested for the current period ($1,566,700) because fewer vehicles are scheduled for replacement during the next period.
16. Requirements for an accelerated replacement programme for communications equipment, as detailed in annex II, section C ($1,354,200), are higher than those requested for the current period ($317,900). The increased budget under this heading is required to a large extent for the essential updating of communications equipment. It is also attributable to increased costs for the rental of the satellite transponder and Brindisi leased line.
17. Requirements under other equipment, as detailed in annex II, section C ($1,600,600), are also higher than those for the current period ($1,001,000). The increased requirements are due mainly to: (a) routine replacement of office equipment during the budgetary period; (b) higher requirements for data-processing equipment, including both hardware and software, in connection with the upgrade and enhancement of the information technology infrastructure of the mission; (c) significantly higher funding requirements for routine replacement of generators; and (d) the replacement of old night-observation devices (long- and short-range) and the acquisition of thermal imaging systems and global positioning systems to maintain the observation standards during the day and at night.
Supplies and services
18. The estimate of $1,387,800 under supplies and services is $36,600 higher than the current approved amount of $1,351,200. The increased requirements are due mainly to the hiring of an engineer and additional skilled workers to assist the Office of Force Construction Engineering to undertake the upgrading of accommodations as stipulated in the UNDOF master plan.
19. The increased estimate under this heading would provide for training of UNDOF technical and finance staff, as detailed in annex II, section A.
Apportionment: $757,400; estimate:$919,800; variance: $162,400
20. The amount budgeted under this heading represents the difference between gross and net emoluments, that is, the amount of staff assessment to which United Nations staff members are subject, in accordance with the staff regulations of the United Nations. Staff assessment is estimated on the basis of the proposed 41 international posts, including the 3 new posts requested, and 89 local-level posts. The estimate is also based on the 2002/03 standard cost rates for New York in accordance with the latest salary scale.
Income from staff assessment
Apportionment: ($757,400); estimate:($919,800); variance:($162,400)
21. The income from staff assessment provided for under this item will be credited to the Tax Equalization Fund established by the General Assembly in its resolution 973 A (X) of 15 December 1955. Member States are given credit in the Fund in proportion to their rate of contribution to the UNDOF budget.
Cost estimates for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003: analysis
A. Standard and mission-specific costs
a No standard cost exists for this item.
C. Non-recurrent requirements
(Thousands of United States dollars, unless otherwise indicated)
a As contained in the mission’s expenditure report as at 30 June 2001.
b As reflected in the standard cost manual.
c To be transferred from other peacekeeping missions.
Implementation of previous recommendations
of the Advisory Committee on Administrative
and Budgetary Questions
As regards the issue concerning the Logistics Branch, the mission would like to inform the Advisory Committee that, under the direction of the Force Commander, the initial integration of some of the military and civilian components of the Force headquarters began in late November 2001 as part of the Force’s modernization programme. One of the arrangements is that the Chief Logistics Officer now reports for operational matters to the Chief of Staff and to the Chief Administrative Officer for administrative matters.
It is anticipated that with the start of integration in some areas, the disadvantage referred to by the Committee will eventually be overcome.
The international staff nominated for training courses in the communications/information technology fields are identified by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The movement and rotation of Field Service staff is controlled by the Field Administration and Logistics Division and as such UNDOF is unable to confirm the staff member’s future availability for mission service.
During the meetings held on 22 and 23 February 1996 on the financing of UNDOF and UNIFIL, the Advisory Committee had requested that information be provided on the estimated cost to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization of direct support to UNDOF and UNIFIL. Since then, the Secretariat has been providing such information on a regular basis. The table below provides the requisite information for the biennium 2002-2003.
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization: estimates of direct support provided to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for the period from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2003
(Thousands of United States dollars)
a Administrative Officer, Camp Ziouani.